October 2013 Newsletter
Parental Newsletter - October 2013
Dear Parents and Carers
How quickly the term has flown! But then it does seem a long time since we were sweltering in the summer heat! A lot has been happening at Grove over the last term, as usual, and I am very proud to say that in so many areas our young people continue to excel! We have had visitors from Kenya and Japan, and many pupils have experienced great personal success in several areas.
This is a very brief Newsletter on paper which I trust your son or daughter will hand you, but in order to save paper I have placed most of the latest news about our school on our website, which I would ask you to visit. If you do not have access to the website, please let us know and we can provide a full printed version for you on request. All our recent Newsletters for Parents are there and in the future we will continue to text you when a Newsletter for Parents has been put on the website: http://grove.ea.dundeecity.sch.uk/
The items include:
- The two-day Business Dynamics Programme was held at the Michelin Training Facility for Business Studies pupils in S6 on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th September.
- The plan to open our very own Credit Union – TARGET – in the school.
- The GameMaker challenge was introduced this year by YoYo Games, the developers of Gamemaker Studio software, an International company with their headquarters in Dundee.
- The Kenya Exchange newsletter
- News from the Meru Bead group
- Success for Josh Landsburgh and Euan Murray being awarded a much sought-after Arkwright Engineering Scholarship.
- The Geography department’s Kindrogan Field Trip Report.
- Our World Challenge team’s plans.
- Duke of Edinburgh expeditions at Gold and Bronze levels
- Morgan Thompson’s success at the Gleneagles Equestrian Centre on Sunday 29th September.
- The Nearly-New Sale at the YMCA on 12th October.
- School holiday Dates for this session and 2014-15
- Eco news
- Report on the Japanese Exchange
- Afternoon Tea for the Senior Citizens of our Community
We welcomed the following new staff to Grove Academy this term:
Mrs F Booth (Orchar PT Guidance and Geography), Mr JP Curran (Reres PT Guidance Team and PE), Miss H Smith (Modern Languages), Mr M Redford (Physics), Mr S Henderson (Art and Design), Mr A Murphy (Geography), Miss A Tyrrell (RMPE), Ms Lowden (Business Studies), Ms S Michael (Music) and our Newly Qualified Teachers, Miss S Dunn (Biology), Ms E Houghton (English) and Mr A Ross (Geography).
Miss A Zucconi retired in the summer, but was soon back doing supply in the PE department and we are very grateful to her for this. During the summer, Ms A Dick retired from the Modern Languages department and her replacement, Ms L Adair, who taught at Grove a few years ago, will take up post after the October break.
I am very pleased to inform you that Mrs M Berry has been appointed as acting Principal Teacher for Improving Learning and Teaching, and will focus on two of the HMIE Action points to improve independent learning and the consistency of learning and teaching across the school.
With the arrival of the new National Qualifications in S4 (at National 3, 4 and 5) we have had to rethink the prelims. As the new National Qualifications are now 1 year courses, the prelim exams will now be held in early January. The practical exams will be first, probably starting with Art and Design on Friday 10 January. Other practical exams (CDT, HE, Music) will follow and then the other non-practical subjects.
There are only prelims for National 5 courses, as National 3 and 4 courses are internally assessed in school without any external exams from SQA. Classes will continue during the prelims for all levels, and there will be no study leave. A possible timetable for the exams in on our website in the documents section. Details concerning the actual SQA exams will be released shortly. S5/6 Prelims for the present exam system will continue in 2014. This will be reviewed in the following year.
Parking and Dropping-Off in the School Grounds
Many parents drop their children off in the mornings in the school grounds. This results in a constant stream of cars entering and exiting the school car park. At the end of the school day many parents sit in their cars in the car park waiting to pick up their children, blocking staff cars in and preventing delivery trucks from dropping off parcels. Some parents are known to park in the disabled spaces, despite not having a blue Disabled card, which is unacceptable. There have also been a number of incidents involving inappropriate parking and driving in the car park. As part of our Healthy Working Lives programme, I have already asked parents to let their children walk to school, or, if they must be dropped off, that the pupils are dropped off in Ferndale Avenue or Davidson Street to the north of the school or in Albert Road to the south-west. Please adhere to this advice. As a result of some very inconsiderate parking, we are currently looking at the feasibility of a barrier on the Car Park which only staff, official visitors or deliveries will be able to access.
Can I also ask you, as parents and carers, to ensure that your child arrives at Grove on time each morning, please? The warning bell goes at 8.42 and all pupils should be in their Tutor class by 8.45. Tutor Time is an increasingly important part of each pupil’s learning and it is vital that pupils are there on time and ready to participate. Timekeeping is an important skill for life and work and it is always something we mention in references for a job or a college/university place.
Since the start of the term the uniform at Grove has been very good. I still would like to see every pupil wearing a blazer and school tie. Please note that hoodies of any sort and leather or denim jackets are not permitted. I have received many comments from parents and members of the public on how smart our young people are and this reflects very well on them and the image and ethos of the school. I would ask you to back us on this drive to raise the dress standards of our pupils, so they come to work smart and ready to learn.
Wishing you a very enjoyable October break,
Graham W Hutton